By a unanimous decision, all three Judges of the Appeal Court this afternoon dismissed the appeal filed by private citizen, Misenga Jones.
The Georgetown resident wanted the Court to reverse a High Court ruling that paved the way for the vote recount to be used for the compilation of the GECOM final report on the elections.
This afternoon, Justices Dawn Gregory, Rishi Persaud and Priya Beharry threw out the appeal, while pointing out that the ruling by the High Court was sound.
Justice Priya Beharry described the appeal as vexatious and frivolous. She agreed with the High Court ruling that the Chief Election Officer is subjected to the directions of the Elections Commission and cannot take it upon himself to prepare a report using declarations that were overtaken by the vote recount.
Noting that the issues raised in the appeal are serious issues, Justice Beharry also said the issues are best suited to be heard in an election petition after the declaration of results using the recount figures.
She said the appeal amounted to an abuse of the Court.
Justice Rishi Persaud shared similar views as he also dismissed he appeal. He said the Chief Election Officer must follow the directions of the Commission and comply with its request for the vote recount to be used to compile the final report.
He said it would be absurd for the Chief Election Officer to offer a report outside of the recount that he himself supervised.
Justice Dawn Gregory in her judgement said there should be no difficulty in the Chief Election Officer utilizing the vote recount to complete his final report.
She brushed aside arguments and the contention that there would have been a need for the Returning Officers to be involved in the process, reminding the Court that the recount took place in one place and under the supervision of the same Elections Commission that ordered it.
The decision by the Court of Appeal effectively puts the matter back in the hands of the Guyana Elections Commission to move ahead with its work and a final declaration of the election results using the recount numbers.
The Attorneys for the applicant requested and got a 24 hour stay in the decision to study it. It is unclear whether they intend to take the matter to the Caribbean Court of Justice which had pronounced on several aspects related to the elections in a recent judgement.
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